c1887 mfr Antique WINCHESTER Model 1873 .38-40 WCF Lever Action SHORT RIFLE
With 20” Octagonal Barrel
Here we present an antique Winchester 1873 Lever Action Short Rifle in .38-40 WCF, made in 1887 in New Haven, Connecticut. This rifle is in the standard rifle configuration with a crescent butt plate but the octagon barrel and the magazine have been shortened to 20-inches. Winchester did produce this barrel length from the factory, though rarely, and according to Madis this configuration was a favorite on the Mexican-American border. This rifle appears to have had plenty of fresh air and hard work in its day.
The Model 1873 is one of the most iconic of American rifles. Given the moniker “The Gun that Won the West”, the 1873 was there during the Indian Wars and Range Wars of the late 19th century. Cowboys, Natives, settlers, miners, law enforcement, express companies and hunters all found these rifles and carbines useful tools. These rifles made excellent companions to revolvers at the time as they were chambered for the same ammunition, meaning that the user only had to keep one type to feed both guns.
One could easily defend the homestead and provide for his family with this versatile weapon. The 1873 really was the quintessential Western rifle, handily outpacing all the muzzle-loading and Civil War surplus guns that also made their way to the frontier. Still an icon in the modern day, it was manufactured between 1873 and 1923. It was originally chambered for the .44-40 cartridge, which was the first centerfire cartridge which became immensely popular. The 1873 was later produced in .38-40, .32-20, and .22. The Model 1873 was produced in three variations: a 24-inch barrel rifle, a 20-inch barrel carbine, and a “musket”, which was aimed at military contracts and only made up less than 5% of production. In all, over 720,000 Model 1873s were produced.
The overall condition is very good. Original patina. The action is excellent. The bore is reflective with good rifling; some mild spotting but no deep pitting. The stock is worn and chipped. There is a long split along the grain on the right side that is weather-related rather than from impact, and it remains stable.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 20 inches.
Caliber: .38-40 Winchester Center Fire
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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